Contract negotiations between the ILWU and employers resumed last week, following a ten-day period when talks had stopped in May. There has been no update with reason for the sudden pause in negotiations. 

“While no immediate updates are available due to media blackout, the negotiation cycle could be following a familiar pattern from the past where the union may stall any serious talks until expiry of the contract on July 1 when their ‘no-strike’ agreement also falls away,” said Rich Roche, Senior VP of Mohawk Global.  

Similarly to the past, further automation at the terminals may be the source of conflict contributing to such slow-downs.  

“Work slow-downs in 2002 forced management to lock-out the union for a ten-day period until then President George W. Bush invoked the Taft-Hartley act to force both sides back to work and back to the bargaining table.  We may see this unfold in a similar fashion if the two sides cannot come to agreement before July 1,” Roche added.  

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